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Managed copy meandering

In meeting with the HD-DVD promotion group yesterday, I discussed some mandatory features that the specification has that could be advantages, but perhaps not, if we see prolonged format war. One good outcome of the meeting was that there was no awareness of either the HD-DVD or Blu-Ray camps seeking to restrict licensing of dual-format drives, which seems like an inevitable outcome of the format war.

One reason that Microsoft and Intel claimed that they supported HD-DVD over Blu-Ray was the former’s support of “Managed Copy,” a feature that would enable consumers to back up movies to their hard disks to perhaps stream across home networks or “sideload” to portable media players. However, it turns out that the group that would be responsible for such a feature, AAAC, will not decide on the fate of Managed Copy until mid-October. All that the HD-DVD group has done has been to pledge support for the feature if it’s ratified, and then who knows whether studios will buy in. The Blu-Ray camp could include the feature as well, although BD+ would need to support it as well